The NHL began its Stanley Cup Qualifiers games over the weekend and NBC Sports released its viewership figures on Sunday, providing some insight into how popular they were.
Saturday’s doubleheader games averaged 1.3 million viewers, which NBC Sports said was the “most-watched NHL doubleheader in four years” excluding pre-Covid-19 playoff contests.
The Montreal Canadiens’ overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday averaged 1.5 million total viewers. It peaked at roughly two million TV-only viewers between 11 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. ET. The Chicago Blackhawks win over the Edmonton Oilers averaged one million total viewers. It peaked at 1.4 million TV-only viewers between 5:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET.
The Flyers-Bruins contest on Sunday averaged 1.4 million viewers. It peaked at 1.8 million viewers between 5:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET.
NBC Sports included streaming numbers in its viewership totals, otherwise known as “total audience delivery” or TAD, using information compiled by Nielsen digital data from Adobe Analytics.
“The competition over the weekend was absolutely sensational,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Monday while discussing the bubble campuses in Toronto and Edmonton. “The games were intense, emotional, hard-hitting and you’re seeing the extraordinarily competitive balance that you’re seeing in the NHL. So, it makes for a great tournament.”
The NHL resumes its Stanley Cup Qualifiers games on Monday with six contests scheduled.
Disclosure: NBC and CNBC are owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit.